Spotlight NEC: Navigating the Electronic Century

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, NEC Corporation is a global leader in IT and network technologies. This Knowledge Leader aims to provide solutions that can help societies overcome complex challenges. For example, NEC makes biometric identification systems, video analytics systems, and digital government solutions designed to improve the efficiency and transparency of government operations.

NEC CEO Takashi Niino’s vision for the future is rooted in the belief that technology can be a force for good. The firm aims to maintain its leadership in the IT and network technologies sector with a special focus on exploring new growth areas, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Navigating the Electronic Century

Credit: NEC

The Dawn of NEC Corporation

NEC was founded in 1899 as Nippon Electric Company by Kunihiko Iwadare, a telegraph operator whose job sparked his interest in the future potential of technology. The firm’s original name was chosen to reflect its roots in electric and communication technologies. The term “Nippon” is a native Japanese word for Japan, while “Electric” signifies the company’s focus on electrical and electronic technologies. The name was later shortened to “NEC,” which is how the company is known today.

The inception of NEC was marked by a significant event: the signing of a joint venture agreement with Western Electric Company of the United States. This partnership was instrumental in the early success of NEC, as it provided the company with access to advanced telecommunication technologies. It was through this partnership that NEC manufactured Japan’s first telephone switchboard.